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GT puts sting on Eagles
Yellow Jackets hand GSU first loss of 2012
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Georgia Southern pinch-hitter Chase Griffin makes his way off the field after hitting into a double play in the bottom of the ninth to end the game against Georgia Tech at Clements Stadium Wednesday. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

Georgia Tech’s Zane Evans hit a three-run home run off of Georgia Southern left-hander Jarret Leverett in the eighth inning to lead the No. 10 Yellow Jackets to an 11-9 victory over No. 30 GSU on Wednesday night. Evans’ homer made it 11-8.

A record crowd of 3,258 at J.I. Clements Stadium watched as Georgia Tech (4-1) used six pitchers and GSU (3-1) sent seven to the mound. Georgia Tech’s Josh Heddinger (1-0) earned the win. GSU’s Chris Myers (0-1) recorded the loss.

In the bottom of the eighth, GSU’s Victor Roache grounded into a double play for the second time. Scooter Williams scored on Eric Phillips’ infield bunt single, cutting the score to 11-9.

In the top of the ninth, Josh Stevenson became GSU’s seventh pitcher. He retired the side.

Georgia Tech’s Luke Bard walked GSU’s Stryker Brown to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Ben Morgan struck out. Chase Griffin, pinch-hitting for Clint Clark, hit into a double play to end the game.

"We made a lot of mistakes tonight from a pitching standpoint," GSU head coach Rodney Hennon said. "We didn’t execute pitches in some situations where we needed to, and good teams are going to make you pay."

In the sixth, GSU’s Phillips hit a two-run double, bringing in Williams and Michael Burruss to cut Georgia Tech’s lead to 8-7. T.D. Davis doubled to bring in Phillips, tying the game at 8.

"I think it’s a game we should have won," Davis said. "They just made the plays and we didn’t."

In the first inning, GSU’s Roache grounded into a double play, but Williams scored from third for a 1-0 lead.

In the third, Georgia Tech’s Brandon Thomas hit starter Justin Hess’ first-pitch fastball for a three-run homer to right-center, giving the Yellow Jackets a 3-1 lead.

GSU’s Burruss doubled to move Williams to third. Roache walked to load the bases. Phillips sacrificed to the warning track in right field, bringing in Williams to cut it to 3-2. Davis walked to load the bases again.

GSU’s Brown walked to bring in Burruss from third and tie the game at 3. Morgan hit a two-out, two-run single to give GSU a 5-3 lead.

In the fourth, Georgia Tech’s Mott Hyde doubled to bring in Sam Dove, cutting the score to 5-4. A sacrifice bunt by Chase Butler moved Hyde to third base. Kyle Wren singled to bring in Hyde, tying the game at 5. Thomas singled to bring in Wren, who stole second, giving the Yellow Jackets a 6-5 lead. Evans singled to bring in Thomas and make it 7-5. GSU’s Jared Cheek relieved Drew Johnson, and Georgia Tech’s Jake Davies doubled to make it 8-5.

GSU’s next game is at 6 p.m. Friday against Radford University (1-3) at J.I. Clements Stadium. The teams will play at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

 

Noell Barnidge can be reached at (912) 489-9408.